Advice: making a claim after an accident

If you ever have to make a insurance claim, keeping your wits about you at the time of the accident will pay dividends when it comes to getting your claim settled quickly and fairly.

Your insurer will need to know this basic information: Date, time and place of the incident; details of the other vehicles involved; names and addresses of anybody else either directly involved or who witnessed the incident.

If anyone has been hurt in the accident (including yourself!) you must call the police and an ambulance (if necessary). Avoid saying sorry or accepting blame for the accident until you know precisely what happened as it could count against you later on. Finally, round up the details of as many independent witnesses as possible, even taking a statement from them at the scene using the voice recorder facility on your mobile phone.

You will also need to tell your insurer as much as you can about the circumstances. Just about every mobile phone has a camera these days so take pictures of the scene and position of the vehicles. If your incident involves a foreign vehicle ensure you obtain details of both vehicle and driver. 

To avoid exaggerated claims from damage or an injury being made against you, it is very helpful to your insurer if you can photograph any damage caused to a third party vehicle. If you have grazed a car driver's door with your bar end and there is barely a mark on the car, it would be very difficult for the driver to submit and justify a claim for a whiplash injury.

Fraudulent  multiple claims for whiplash to 'phantom passengers' are common, so if possible, photograph the other vehicle identifying how many occupants are in it.


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